Switching internet providers can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! There may be a few reasons why you want to switch internet providers from not being happy with the download speeds you’ve been receiving, or your service costs too much, or maybe you’re moving. Whatever your reason for wanting to switch internet providers is, it will all go much more smoothly if you do all your homework beforehand. Whether you currently have Spectrum, AT&T, Frontier Internet, MetroNet, HughesNet, or any other provider, here’s a checklist of five things to do before switching your internet provider.
1. Know What Internet Plan You Have Now
The first step is to find out what internet plan you have with your current internet provider. What are your download and upload speeds? How much does it cost you every month? Are there any extra features like email, antivirus software or tech support? Finding out exactly what you’re paying for with your current provider will help you find a comparable replacement or a better service if that’s what you’re looking for. You won’t know if you will be getting a better deal or better service if you don’t know what you have right now.
2. Search For Available Internet Providers
After you find out what you have right now, you’ll need to find out what alternative internet providers and internet plans are out there for you. Don’t just assume because your friend across town that has fiber internet at their apartment means that you can get it too. A lot of infrastructure gets installed in each neighborhood and yours may simply not have what it takes to get what you want. Because of this, it’s important to take your search one step further and search by your current address rather than just your zip code.
3. Do You Have A Cancellation Fee?
If you’re under a contract with your current internet provider, you are likely to face a hefty early termination fee if you cancel before your contract is up. Don’t let your family receive a surprise bill in the mail later and find out these things before committing to switching internet providers:
- Am I in a contract right now?
- If yes, how much will it cost to end my contract early?
- If yes, how long do I have left in my contract?
If you don’t have a lot of time left in your contract, it might be monetarily beneficial for your family to wait it out. Sometimes internet providers will have contract buy-out programs where they’ll pay for a portion or all of your early termination fee if you switch to them. Just keep in mind, there are likely a lot of stipulations to receiving that money like a minimum plan you’d have to subscribe to, contracts, or even the length of time it would take for the internet provider to pay your contract out. It’s likely that if you go with an internet provider with a contract buyout program, you’ll have to foot the bill yourself and then get reimbursed later when your application gets approved.
4. Find Out Your Equipment Compatibility & Return Leased Equipment
Not all internet providers use the same equipment; in fact many internet providers will try to force you to lease their equipment from them. If you purchased your own modem or modem router combo for your current internet provider, it’s important to make sure your device is compatible with your new internet provider. If not, the added cost of leasing a device or buying a whole new device might make you change your mind about switching internet providers altogether.
If you didn’t purchase your modem or modem router combo and rented it from your current internet provider, you’ll have to return that equipment in a timely manner. If you don’t, you’ll be charged for a full replacement cost of that leased device with your final bill. Sometimes it’s not as simple as returning it to a local storefront location if your current internet provider doesn’t have one. Make sure you factor in the time and cost of shipping to return equipment into your decision to switch internet providers.
5. Call Your Current Internet Provider
If you’re unhappy with your current internet provider, let them know! If you already know you’re going to switch internet providers and know what you’re going to switch to, it’s worth your time to negotiate with your current internet provider for a better deal. It costs your current provider less money to retain you as a customer than it is to lose you to the competition. Because of this, you might be pleasantly surprised at what they offer you to entice you to stay.
Only call to cancel your current internet service after your new one is installed so you don’t end up unconnected for an undetermined amount of time.